Greek columns? Really?

The stage for Barack Obama's speech is being set up, and it looks like the design could have been a lot smarter.

Published August 27, 2008 3:36PM (EDT)

DENVER -- Thus far, the Democratic convention has gone very smoothly, and it has been stage-managed well. That's one reason it's so jarring to see the preparations being made for Barack Obama's big speech, to be delivered Thursday night. The stage from which he'll be speaking looks like a Greek temple, complete with columns.

I suppose there's an outside chance this could actually look good when it's finished and all the trappings are in place. But right now it just seems incredibly tone-deaf. The Obama campaign should expect John McCain's camp to attempt to use the speech against Obama, as it has so successfully turned his popularity against him before. Why hand the campaign additional ammo on a silver -- well, in this case, marble -- platter?

There is one other possible angle to this; as a colleague pointed out to me, the set is actually pretty reminiscent of the style used by Trinity Broadcasting, a Christian network. So maybe this is an attempt to draw in evangelicals, something the Obama campaign (and Democrats generally) has been trying really hard to do. But even if that's the case, the set design still seems like a very bad idea.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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